• Marion, Indiana

News for IWU’s Campus

By Kelsey Bratten and Lucas Vargo

Indiana Wesleyan University holds rich traditions of campus culture and student involvement. 

Campus culture and student involvement have always been a way for students to find relaxation and fun outside of the classroom. 

Director of Student Involvement Jonny Rupp said, “Friday Night Live this upcoming fall will be celebrating 30 years.” 

Friday Night Live originally started off as a ministry. 

“They were inspired by trying to find a solution for why students were not going to church on Sunday morning,” Rupp said. 

Students reacted positively when asked about attending a service on Friday night.

 “So they were like, let’s do a comedy show, then cap it off with a thoughtful message,” Rupp said. 

Former FNL Director and registrar office employee Pat Travis said FNL would fill up the Phillippe Performing Arts Center. Then it moved to the chapel auditorium when it opened. FNL would have up to 21 cast members, putting on a show for a whole weekend. 

Nowadays, FNL takes place in the Globe Theater one night a semester. 

Some event names have funny stories of how they came to fruition. Spotted Cow’s original name got turned down, Spotted Cow was proposed, and it stuck. 

“Spotted Cow has been around since the 90s,” Rupp said. 

IWU started getting song requests from some international students. “At Spotted Cow we are trying to invite more diverse musicians,” Rupp said. 

One of the most popular events of the year is Rebash. 

“When (Rebash) started, dancing wasn’t approved on this campus,” Rupp said.

 A couple of years later, appropriate music and attire were approved.

“It yields almost half the student population,” Rupp said. “Even if you don’t like dancing, you still go because it’s just what you do.” 

One event that vanished was Kids Day. 

“Students could bring either their sibling or any cousin. You experience campus and have kid-type events,” Rupp said. 

Some new events are trying to make a name for themselves. 

“February Frenzy is fairly new. This February was the second time it was hosted,” Rupp said The Student Activities Council is always trying to develop new ideas for campus events. 

“We don’t want to get stuck in a rut. We want to try new things. We want to make sure we are trying to make our events more inclusive and more inviting to all of our students,” Rupp said. 

Student activities account for one part of life on campus. Spiritual formation is another large part of campus life. 

Before the chapel auditorium was built in 2010, there were two locations to attend chapel. 

IWU alumnus and Director of Alumni and church relations Jaclyn Gidley said students chose between two chapel services, at 10:00 a.m. or 11:00 a.m. They took place in Ott Hall and the Phillippe Performing Arts Center on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. 

The students were given only six skips instead of a credit system. They obtained credit by swiping their ID card. 

Students had to swipe into the chapel using their student IDs before phones became as popular as today. 

Gidley said the 1920 art gallery in the Student Center used to be a designated Apple store. In the 2000s, Tech was not as widespread. Signing up for classes could take hours. 

“When registering for classes, students would line up to hand in papers,” Travis said. “I would come into work and have to step over sleeping students.” 

The switch from hard copy to digital class registration occurred at the start of the 2010s 

“Registering for classes was hard copy my first and second year, but by the time I graduated, it was all online,” Gidley said. “It was cool to have been on both sides.” 

While technology continues to advance, some things still reign king. Posters are still the most popular form of advertisement for events. 

On-campus dining has seen growth as well. 

World Changer Truett Cathy added Chick-fil-A to Wildcat Express in 2011. 

Before Chick-fil-A, Wildcat only offered Wild Wok, Casa del Gato Café, and Mario’s Pizza and Grinders, with the exception of Wilburs Wings. 

“The meal plans were not as generous as they are today,” Gidley said. 

The Students Activities Council was founded and began hosting events in 1965. 

“Sometimes, not all the events that are largely attended are the best fit for students,” Rupp said. “There are events that are more intentional that allow every demographic to attend something they enjoy.” 

Students enjoy a variety of events throughout the year. 

“IWU has come a long way in making sure everyone feels welcomed and that they can go to these events,” Gidley said. There is great learning in the classroom, but I think outside the classroom can have just as much value.”

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